Mixed emotions for Andrew Balding following Derby result

Serpentine led the field a merry dance at Epsom (PA Wire)
18:40pm, Sat 04 Jul 2020
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Andrew Balding was left with a degree of mixed feelings after saddling the second and fourth home in the Investec Derby.

His 2000 Guineas winner Kameko was sent off the 5-2 favourite for the premier Classic, while in contrast stablemate Khalifa Sat was a 50-1 chance.

The latter came out on top, tracking all-the-way winner Serpentine and sticking on gamely for the runner-up spot.

The Kingsclere trainer said: “It was a funny race, but Khalifa Sat ran great, I am thrilled with him. He ran a great Leger trial.

“And Kameko ran well to a point – Oisin (Murphy) just felt he emptied out a little bit late on. Two lovely horses and fair play, they both ran great. We have always liked Khalifa Sat, he is a lovely type.

“It’s difficult to know (whether Kameko stayed the mile and a half), but I think we’ll certainly be dropping back in trip – I think that will be his last run over a mile and a half, anyway.”

Khalifa Sat was a first ride in the race for Tom Marquand, who said: “We are really pleased with that for a run. Obviously, the leader sort of skipped away early and had that little bit more toe than us. This lad is as honest as the day is long and I am looking forward to seeing him over further.”

Murphy added: “I am thrilled for Emmet McNamara (rider of Serpentine). He has been part of Ballydoyle for a number of years and is a top-class jockey. The winner got a very enterprising ride. I wasn’t making any ground late, if anything I was stopping.”

Ed Walker had to settle for fifth with strongly-fancied Lingfield Derby Trial winner English King, the mount of Frankie Dettori.

He said: “The way the race panned out was frustrating, purely and simply. I am thrilled with everything – proud as punch of the horse, Frankie did well from a difficult draw. I have no excuses, just a frustrating race. A Derby with no pace – there is no such thing these days, really – and we needed pace.

“But I am proud of the horse, he has run great. My first Derby experience; he has hit the line hard, another 50 yards and he might have been second.”

Dettori said: “I had a good trip. Between the three and one furlong, he couldn’t pick up and then he was doing all he did best work at the end. He was just inexperienced.”

William Buick was the man aboard on 66-1 shot Amhran Na Bhfiann, who was third. He said: “Why is it so quiet round here?! He ran a great race.”

Seamie Heffernan said of Russian Emperor (seventh): “He ran well, but the winner was just too far in front.”

Padraig Beggy was the man in the saddle on Vatican City (eighth): “My lad will improve from that. It was only his fourth run. He is one for another day.”

Royal Ascot winner Pyledriver was 11th for William Muir and Martin Dwyer, who said: “I had a nice pitch behind Ryan (Moore, on Mogul) and then I got hampered when we crossed back and that was my race over. I couldn’t get into it from there.”

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